Business Center

Intern Success Story: Cesar Paredes

By Cynthia Case, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: Dec. 26, 2017

Cesar Paredes

Cesar Paredes
Process Improvement Intern

Cesar Paredes began his CDOT career in December 2014 as an intern in the Office of Process Improvement (OPI), his first experience working in the public sector. He was very interested in roadway design, and the internship gave him the experience and connections that opened the door to his current position as an engineer-in-training in Pueblo, in CDOT's Southeast Colorado region.

Interns Add Value to CDOT

Each intern brings something new to CDOT, which helps CDOT employees view projects from a different perspective. One of Paredes' favorite projects was working with the US Highway 85 and Union Pacific project. During this project, he was able to assist CDOT Chief Engineer Josh Laipply with cost estimates and negotiation suggestions. Paredes was later asked to draft a memorandum on this issue for the Colorado Transportation Commission.

Developing the Next Generation of Engineers

Paredes developed his skills in numerous ways throughout his internship:

  1. When Paredes began his internship, he didn't know anything about the discipline of change management. Now, he says he uses Prosci's Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR) change management methodology in his work on a regular basis.
  2. His internship gave him the skills to build teams, develop solutions and communicate. This added great value when he learned to talk to and really listen to the concerns of maintenance workers. Paredes said this experience taught him how important it is to involve maintenance staff members in the design process.
  3. Paredes' internship connected him to people of diverse age ranges and experiences. Before his internship—as a civil engineering student at Colorado State University–Pueblo—he wasn't accustomed to working with large teams or developing content for statewide meetings and change initiatives. He had largely only created reports and analyzed information. Paredes' internship gave him skills he wasn't taught in his degree program.

Paredes' recommendation to other interns: "Get out there and meet people, network." The diversity within CDOT augmented his learning experience and helped him learn valuable things from people he wouldn't have talked to otherwise.

  About Paredes

Cesar Paredes received a degree in civil engineering technology from Colorado State University-Pueblo. He loves to travel; Paredes has been all over Europe, the United States, South America and just got back from New Zealand. In addition to this, he enjoys outdoor sports such as snowboarding, hiking and mountain climbing. Most weekends, you can find him doing one of these activities in beautiful Colorado outdoors.